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Latest News / Jul 28, 2010 / 4:28 pm

Team USA makes four cuts

O.J. Mayo (photo. John Sturdy)

O.J. Mayo. Tyreke Evans. Gerald Wallace. JaVale McGee. Those are the four names that were cut from Team USA in a media teleconference earlier today. This afternoon, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the 15-man roster that will make the trip to New York City once training commences on August 10.

Colangelo said he met with players this weekend and on Monday and Tuesday to reaffirm their total commitment to the team.

Coach K said the team will rely on the three-point shot, team speed and versatility, citing that there is no combination of guards he wont try: Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, Rose and Stephen Curry, Curry and Eric Gordon, etc.

“That means (Kevin) Durant and (Rudy) Gay will play a lot at the four,” Krzyzewski said. “Which isn’t bad because we had LeBron and Carmelo playing at the four all the time.”

Krzyzewski says that they may end up taking most, if not all of the guards. While he is concerned about the number of bigs on the roster, Coach K marveled at Chauncey Billups‘ leadership capabilities, as well as his versatility to play on the wing, saying, “He’s one of the top point guards, but he can also play off the ball because he can shoot the ball.”

He also gushed about the growth of Rose: “I thought he had an absolutely incredible performance in the scrimmage on Saturday … and he really took it up a notch on defense.”

Krzyzewski believes the team will have to rely on “really good perimeter defense” and can see a “defensive spirit” among his guards to cause havoc. That will undoubtedly include a big contribution from Rajon Rondo, whose unconventional style could pay big dividends for the team. Coach K isn’t concerned about Rondo’s weak perimeter game and hopes to rely on the 24-year old’s big-game experience with the Boston Celtics.

“He won a championship unconventionally,” he said. “The thing that Rondo does is that he plays with a will to win. His will to win is something I truly admire and we need that.”

However, the team lost three power players very early in the process and Brook Lopez‘ mono condition was unknown for a time in camp. Colangelo stressed that he will have to show significant improvement in order to make the final roster and that it may be a struggle at times inside.

Colangelo also said the team has an “openness” about taking an extra player or two with them to Europe. The 12-man final roster doesn’t need to be finalized until just before the tournament opens play. But he does admit that Krzyzewski and him already have a group of eight or nine players that will be on the team. The remaining six will fight it out for the last few spots.

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  • seattle

    wallace over love? hmm

  • Scott

    @seattle

    kinda makes sense, Love’s passing ability and general bigger body would fit better in the FIBA play than Wallace who is generally playing off athleticism, which in the past hasn’t done much, plus he’s smaller I believe in size.

  • jay

    not to be a hater….mayo i thought played well on saturday…hmm..do think he is a little over-rated though!

  • Scott

    ps. When did Eric Gordon get that good that he’s getting burn over guys like Reke and OJ? The Clipps gotta be lovin that.

  • Kirk

    Tyreke didn’t make it because he was injured.
    Wallace didn’t really seem to care whether or not he made it.
    OJ had 18pts, 7rebs, and 2ast w/no to’s. I was shocked to see him get cut. As a Grizz fan I’m pretty pissed off too.

  • Stunnaboy09

    Reke was injured so I expected him, McGee was also not ready so same to him. But Crash and OJ?

    I’d take Crash over Jeff Green, Odom or just about any big on the team now. He’s a crazy athletic, can hit a jumper decently at least as rebounds like his life depends on it. Good fit for USA basketball.

    OJ actually looked good in the scrimmage and was letting hell loose from deep. Maybe they liked Gordon more but I thought at least he’d make the 15 man squad.

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    Yeah, I am surprised OJ didn’t make it. But I figured USA would have to choose between OJ and EG… would be tough to keep both of them. OJ was supposedly sluggish all week in practice… guess that was his undoing.

  • Pareja

    Durant at four…hm. Despite his wingspan and solid defensive game, at four his matchups will be bigger bodies.

    Hey, i just wrote that and now checked his weight… 230 lbs?? nooo way. even at 6’9″. look at him man…

  • LB

    Kirk, I would be glad that OJ Mayo was cut if I was a Grizz fan. Mayo needs the rest, after playing the Summer League, AND scrimmaging against some of the best talent in the league pretty much back to back.

  • s.bucketz

    yea…rondo did win a chip unconventionally….he did jack shit that whole entire year and he is somehow looked at as the savior for that championship

  • got beef?

    @ 10.
    what championship team did u watch? he was the starting point guard, he didn’t just sit back and watch the whole thing unfold… ur just a hater

  • Aussiedestroya

    I’m curious to know from an Americano’s perspective just how much desire the US players have to win the gold. With the redeem team there was no issue here, but all the other nations put international ball ahead of their NBA or European teams. Talent and Athleticism is surely with Team USA, but if the desire to win is not there I think a team with solid big men familiar with international rules (eg Brazil) will take the gold. Thoughts?

  • Kudabeen

    @12

    As an American we have the same concerns…Yes the NBA is more popular, but watching Team USA struggle and not represent the kind of passion we really have for the game in this country was sickening for those poor years. To have NBA player go out and not play with any hunger…No scratch that…It was about passion/hunger on the court it was about mental preparation…There was no team concepts. We thought throwing NBA players together alone was enough and had to be taught a lesson.

    I don’t think that will be the case moving forward. Even the Redeem team was challenged in games. This team is very small to where if our jumpers aren’t falling we can get ate up down low and at the line…

    I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

  • jdizzle

    OJ getting cut could be a blessing in disguise. He can use this as extra motivation. The Grizz were just 2 games(I think) from being a .500 ball club. Mayo could have an All-Star calibur year that could push his team over the hump and into the post season.

  • lowblow

    I would’ve taken OJ over Westbrook, Curry, and Gordon…
    Maybe he’s just too gangster for Coach K

  • http://yahoo john stanley

    rondo shouldnt have made this team with the gaurds you already have. billups is your leader of the team thats why u neeed him and thats all rondo is a smaller verson of billups that cant shoot so you dont need him if you have billups plus he can shoot against a zone defense (Billups).